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Flood Safety Awareness Week

The National Weather Service in Binghamton New York has declared March 10-16, 2024 as Flood Safety Awareness Week in central New York.

The National Weather Service in Binghamton will feature information about a different flood topic each day during the awareness week.


Flood Safety - Preparedness And Awareness

Flood of September 2011Flooding can occur in the United States at any time of the year. It causes more damage in the United States than any other weather related event. On average, floods cause eight billion dollars in damages and eighty nine fatalities annually. That is why it is so important to be prepared should flooding occur.

Always be Prepare:

Knowing what your flood risk is, is the best way to prepare for a flood. To find out what your flood hazard is, go to:

You can also find out if you live in a flood plain by visiting our partners at FEMA at

There are many tips for what to do before, during and after a flood on our newly redesigned flood safety website at

Flash Flood July 3, 2011

Always be aware:

Find the latest forecasts and hazardous weather conditions at and National Weather Service Forecast offices across the country work around the clock to ensure Watches, Warnings and Advisories are issued to alert you and your family to hazardous conditions to keep you safe.

The same information is available on your mobile device at Smart phones are now able to receive flash flood warnings via the Wireless Emergency Alerts System. For more information visit Weather Ready Nation's FAQ on Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Another tool to alert you about hazardous weather conditions is NOAA Weather Radio. This nationwide network of radio stations is dedicated to broadcasting continuous weather, river and other emergency information direct from National Weather Service offices. For more information, visit

Stay safe during a flood by knowing your risk and where to get the latest forecast and hazard information. Be a force of nature! 

The term 500-year flood doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s only going to happen one time every 500 years. Rather, it’s a reference to the probability of occurrence.


Today's topic: Turn Around Don't Drown


The phrase "Turn Around Don't Drown" has become a catchphrase in the media, classroom and even at home. It's one thing to see or hear the phrase, and another to put it into practice. Turn Around Don't Drown, or TADD for short, is a National Weather Service campaign used to educate people about the hazards of driving a vehicle or walking through flood waters.

Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock an adult off their feet. Twelve inches of moving water can carry away most small cars, and twenty-four inches of rushing water can carry away most large vehicles including school buses. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don't Drown.

Please see the TADD web site for more information.

For flood safety tips, visit





When Flooded Turn Around Don't Drown



Today's topic: Flood Hazards

June 19, 2007 flash flood.Flash floods happen very quickly and are rapid rises of streams and creeks which flood roads, bridges, homes and business in as little as an hour or a few hours. 

More information about these flood hazards can be found on the National Weather Service flood safety website at:

The following will describe different forms of flooding:

Flash flooding: 

  • Flash flooding are floods that happen in a flash. This type of flood generally develops within six hours of the immediate cause. Causes can include heavy rain, ice jams, levee or dam failures. Flash floods are rapid rises of streams or creeks which flood roads, bridges, homes and businesses.  

Tropical systems and Inland flooding:

June 1972 Hurricane Agnes Wilkes-Barre PA.

  • Tropical storms, hurricanes and their remnants can bring devastating floods well inland. New York has a long history of destructive floods from tropical systems which includes: Connie and Diane in 1955, Agnes in 1972, Eloise in 1975, Ivan in 2004, Irene and Lee in 2011, and the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, Hurricane Henri and Ida in 2021. These storms producing widespread flooding to parts of New York. It is also important to remember than most deaths related to tropical storms and hurricanes come from flooding inland well away from the coast. So, residents in central New York need to pay close attention anytime a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching.  

River flooding: 

  • River flooding occurs when river levels rise and overflow their banks or the edges of their main channel to inundate areas that are normally dry. River flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall, dam failures, rapid snowmelt and ice jams. River flooding is classified as Minor, Moderate, or Major based on predetermined water height thresholds and impacts near the river. 
  • The three stages of river flooding are: 
    • Minor: Low-lying areas adjacent to the stream or river; mainly rural areas, farmland and secondary roadways. 
    • Moderate: Water levels rise high enough to impact homes and businesses near the river. Some evacuations may be needed. 
    • Major: Extensive rural and/or urban flooding is expected. Usually with significant water depths and destruction to property in, and near the floodway.

Understanding the different types of flood hazards and knowing the actions to take before, during, and after, can help you protect your life, the lives of your loved ones, pets, and your property. Prepare now by visiting



Today's topic: National Weather Service Water ResourcesAHPS hydrograph from September 2011

The National Weather Service homepage,, provides up to date weather and water Advisory, Watch, and Warning information for the United States. However, the National Weather Service provides many additional resources to help emergency managers, public officials and private citizens make water decisions.

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS):

  • AHPS provides a suite of river and flood forecasts and water information to protect life and property, and helps ensure the nation's economic well-being. The main website to find this information is located at:

Flood Inundation Mapping:

  • The ability to look into the future to see how many city blocks and roads might be flooded is becoming clearer with the development of flood inundation mapping. National Weather Service and National Ocean Service are collaborating with the USGS, USACE, FEMA, and other partners to develop these inundation maps for flooding.
Flood inundation map example. Click to see more

Weather Prediction Center (WPC) Precipitation Forecasts:

  • WPC provides precipitation forecasts for the entire U.S., including Puerto Rico. WPC also issues excessive rainfall forecasts, short-range discussions on heavy rainfall events, and snowfall and freezing rain probabilities.

National Weather Service River Forecast Centers (RFC):

The National Weather Service has a network of thirteen River Forecast Centers across the United States. These RFC locations collect, process, and provide water resource and river forecasts and information for major river basins across the country.

Flood Safety Awareness Website:

On this page, you will find information on what to do before, during and after a flood.

Staying aware of an evolving weather situation can help you prepare when flooding or other weather hazards impact your area.


Today's topic: Partner Resources

April 2005The National Weather Service works with, and relies on strategic partnerships involving river observations, reservoir management, floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, flood preparedness and safety efforts to reduce the loss of life and property caused by floods. Today we are sharing some great tools from several of our partners.

American Red Cross

Federal Alliance For Safe Homes (FLASH)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

United States Army Corps of EngineersFlash Flood July 3, 2011

United States Geological Survey

The National Weather Service works with many key partners to complete the mission of protecting life and property. Some additional key partners are the National Hydrologic Warning council, Association of State Floodplain Managers, the National Safety Council, media outlets, and many other government and private sector organizations. For more information about our partners, or to learn about partners local to your area, contact your local National Weather Service office.

Remember, flooding can occur in ANY of the fifty States or United States territories at any time of the year. Prepare yourself, your family, and your home for potential disaster. Be aware of potential flooding in your area, Turn Around Don't Drown, and help make the United States a more Weather Ready Nation!


For more information, contact:

Mitchell Gaines

Meteorologist for NOAA's National Weather Service
Binghamton, NY 13290
Phone: 607-770-9531
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